Psyc7006 - Autobiographical Memory and the experience of time - wk9 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Psyc7006 - Autobiographical Memory and the experience of time - wk9 Deck (11):
1

What are the four theories for the illusion that time appears to pass more rapidly in later adulthood? (between-subjects)


Age-related increased passage of time:

1. Age changes in the numbers of memorable events - less memorable events experienced in adulthood, less new varied experiences that leave strong memories.

2. Ratio theories (Janet 1877, Lemlich, 1975) - time (e.g., 1 year) represents a larger % of a younger persons total life so far than an older person

3. Biological clock theories - Inner biological clock slows down as we age, less matches objective time <- appears quicker

4. Attention explanations - less attention resources to devote to time tracking = time seems to go faster

2

What are the three theories that account for general (non-age related) reasons for the impression that time is passing quickly?

(+ general theories of why time passes fast for everyone)

1. Forward telescoping - is the tendency to underestimate how long ago personal events or news happened. (e.g., think it happened 1 year ago, actually happened 2 years ago)..if this happens enough may seem time has passed quickly

2. Difficulty of recall - difficulty recalling events in a time interval (i.e., normal forgetting) may make that time interval seem briefer..time going quicker

3. Time pressure - having a lot of things to do may increase the feeling that time is passing quickly (i.e., too quickly to everything that needs to be done.) + although more time pressure in young adults, less cognitive resources or energy in older adults to deal with time pressures (Even if less) + when current time pressure is compared to past time pressure then past is remembered more favorable (Rosy-retrospection, fading affect bias)

3

What is the difference between between-age and within-age comparisons?

where is the subjective impression of time effect usually found?

Between-age = measure participants' current experience of time and compare between people of various age

Within-age = asking participant to compare the present speed of time's passage to its speed at earlier ages

In within-age studies! --> show that subjective present time feels like it is going faster then it did in the past FOR ALL AGES. (i.e., it is a within-subjects, not between-subjects effect)

Between-subject show that there is no difference between age groups in their subjective experience of time (except smallish difference at 10 year interval)

4

Describe the ‘biological clock’ explanation of subjective time experience

(key things: theory, does it propose age-differences, is the theory supported by evidence?)

The idea that there is an internal biological clock that slows with age and when compared with object time, objective time seems to go faster (because it is comparatively faster)

Specifically, the internal clock includes a 'pacemaker' which emits pulses and an accumulator which stores the pulses and a switch between the two.

Interval timing process: Counting (objective time translated to subject time via models three components) --> memory (temporal info from previous experiences is retrieved from reference memory e.g., 10 pulses is 10 seconds) --> decision (a comparator determines whether the number of pulses in the accumulator is equal to the number of pulses retrieved from the reference memory and vice versa.

Estimations: counting --> memory --> decision
Productions: memory --> counting --> decision
therefore, if bio-clock slows down, should have shorter estimations but longer productions.

Evidence for?
Block (1998) found older adults tended to give longer estimates and shorter productions.
Reference memory for the correct timing can be manipulated (Ryan & Fritz, 2007)

5

Describe the ‘attentional resources’ explanation of subjective time experience

(key things: theory, does it propose age-differences, is the theory supported by evidence?)

Premise: Perceived duration of an interval depends on how attention is allocated during that interval (Craik & Hay, 1999) - intervals in which attention is divided appear shorter because less attention is available to notice time passage.

Older adults have less attentional resources, therefore fail to notice the passage of time, giving the impression that time has passed quicker.

Evidence?
Tested with prospective tasks, with a non-temporal second task done during the interval to 'take' attention.

YES - older adults tend to give shorter estimates and longer productions when they have to do a second task while making temporal judgements. While young adults tend to give longer estimates and shorter productions.

HOWEVER, while young adults tend to overestimate objective time...they still feel that time is currently passing fast (not normal or slow as would be expected)

May explain timing on short intervals (second, minutes) but that does not mean that they explain timing on longer intervals (weeks, months, years, decades)

6

Describe the ‘forward telescoping’ explanation of subjective time experience

(key things: theory, does it propose age-differences, is the theory supported by evidence?)

'Forward telescoping' is when remote events tend to appear closer in time than they actually are. e.g., an event that appears to have happened 5 years ago may have actually happened 10 years ago. If this happens a lot then time might feel like it went fast. Older people might experience these dating errors more frequently or as larger (or not!).

HOWEVER,
1. Telescoping may result from the experience of timing seeming to go faster (may not be the cause).
2. Awareness of telescoping errors would theoretically be required for it to cause a change in subjective experience in time.
3. The size of errors depends on the length of the period from which events are drawn rather than the age of the participants.


NO SUPPORT
Telescoping can be manipulated forward or backward with false-feedback - but neither lead to difference in ratings of the passage of time. i.e., no correlation between actual dating errors and the passage of time.

(Backward telescoping: recent events seem to be further away in time than they actually are.)

7

Describe the ‘difficulty of recall' explanation of subjective time experience

(key things: theory, does it propose age-differences, is the theory supported by evidence?)

a. People estimate the duration of an interval by the number fo events that can be recalled from this interval. When a person recalls many evens from a period, it will seem to have had a long duration and thus appear to have passed slowly. Whereas when a person recalls only a few events from a similar period, it will seem to have had a short duration and thus appear to have passed quickly – has been shown for short intervals, but what about much longer intervals such as months, years or decades?
b. Fits with the idea that the reminicense and recency bump coincide in younger populations, while older populations have a strong reminiscence bump than the recency bump

c. NOT COMPATIBLE with the increased recall of recent events – people have no difficulties recalling many specific events from recent periods, which should make present time seem to pass slowly. People experience difficulties recalling specific events from the period when they were about half their present age, which should make time in the past seem to have passed quickly
d. Rating the passage of time intervals not influenced by being reminded about recent events (Friedman & Janssen)

NO SUPPORT

8

Describe the ‘Low no. of memorable events' explanation of subjective time experience

(key things: theory, does it propose age-differences, is the theory supported by evidence?)

a. James 1890 argued that “each passing year converts some of this experience into automatic routine which we hardly note at all and the days and weeks smooth themselves out in recollection and the years grow hollow and collapse.” Whereas young adults have recently experienced important events, whereas middle-aged adults have no experienced important events recently.

b. Compatible with the finding that ‘highly important personal events” have a strong reminiscence bump but barely any recency bump.

c. However, no correlation between rated-passage-of-time (speed) and how many new experiences/life changes in the last couple of years for young and middle-aged adults (Friedman & Janssen, 2010)

NO SUPPORT

9

Describe the ‘Time pressure' explanation of subjective time experience

(key things: theory, does it propose age-differences, is the theory supported by evidence?)

The belief that life speeds up as one becomes older cause by A. the relation between the perceived time pressure and the subjective experience of time and B. the difference in how well people remember recent and remote instances of time pressure.

People recall more (and more detailed) recent than remote events of time pressure, causing it to feel as though there was less time pressure in the past and more time pressure now. (similar to fading affect bias, leading to rosy retrospection) – a memory bias.

Support for time pressure account for general within-subject subjective experience of time + age-difference on 10-year interval =
*Younger > older think that they currently experience more time pressure than in the past. Older > younger say they experience more time pressure in the past.

*Present time pressure was related to the passage of short intervals --> i.e., participants used recent instances of time pressure to estimate the passage of time on shorter intervals (i.e., recent times!)

*Past time pressure was related to the passage of the 10-year interval --> participants used remote instances of time pressure to estimate the passage of time on the 10-year interval.

*Comparisons of time pressure correlated with comparisons of time passage. Participants tended to underestimate past time pressure, suggesting that they might also underestimate past time passage.

*Could also explain age-differences. Older adults may have less time pressure presently, but ALSO less resources to deal with it. Older indicates more

10

Describe the ‘ratio model' explanation of subjective time experience

(key things: theory, does it propose age-differences, is the theory supported by evidence?)

The idea that as people become older, each passing year represents a smaller proportion/percentage of their lifespan (so far) (Janet 1877) (Lemlich, 1975)

e.g., a 20 year old 1 year = 5%, but for 80 YO 1 year = 1.25%

Therefore, time seems to pass quicker

Matches within-subject findings, but not between-subject findings

(40 year old it takes 2 years (2x) the time it takes at 20 years (half of present age) to be 5% of total lifespan. This can be plotted using square root of the half(2)/quarter (4) etc.)

11

How is subjective experience of time measures?

Retrospective - series of questions about present time, and past time intervals (e.g., 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years)

Prospective:
Estimation - Set interval...how long was that interval?
Productions - After the start-sound, push a button when it has been X-time (e.g., 10 seconds)